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[1.1] Swiss Sparkles Inc.
Forum Index - Sunken Ghost Ship - Old Contests & Events - The 10th Annual Vanilla Level Design Contest - [1.1] Swiss Sparkles Inc.
Pages: « 1 »
Hi I'm pretty new to this engine. After giving MaGL3 a shot last year I decided to make a level for this event as well. This level focuses on the concept of JUMPing.

Screenshots of Version 1.0:


Download!!!
Feedback appreciated!

Wheee~ :3
Not too bad, but i'd seriously rework those palettes. the main orange blocks and the pink/purple don't go well together, and those blocks look sort of off.
Originally posted by Dakras Hayashi
those blocks look sort of off.

Which blocks in particular are you referring to? Just the level's tiles in general?
Either way, I took your advice and FrozenQuills was super nice and helped me with the level's palette and it looks much better now. I'm now done with the first part of the level:
The palette is much better than in your first screenshots. Also the gameplay seems to be quite interesting. Designing a level around Tile 1F0 may be dangerous and getting boring after a while but it looks like that your level interferes with eneough variation of obstacles to keep it fun to play. One thing i´d like to add: Keep the difficulty reasonable. Judging from seeing all the spikes and instant death abysses the level may be quite difficult, so i just advice you to be careful and don´t exaggerate it.

--------------------
mfw i thought you were the same person because of your avatars

I prefer the palette in the second one. The orange outlines in the first screenshots look terrible, and they look much better in the second.
most okayest
Originally posted by Leiras
The palette is much better than in your first screenshots. Also the gameplay seems to be quite interesting. Designing a level around Tile 1F0 may be dangerous and getting boring after a while but it looks like that your level interferes with eneough variation of obstacles to keep it fun to play. One thing i´d like to add: Keep the difficulty reasonable. Judging from seeing all the spikes and instant death abysses the level may be quite difficult, so i just advice you to be careful and don´t exaggerate it.

I'm a bit concerned about the difficulty, too. I am doing my best to avoid instances of "what do i do" and lack of telegraphing and making the level completable without too many deaths.
It is definitely at the more difficult end of the spectrum, and I have some friends helping me out by giving feedback on sections that need work. Many ares in the level have been reworked or adjusted to be easier, fairer and overall more fun than they were initially.
The biggest challenge I am currently facing is players who take levels slowly in general. Some of the setups require the player to act quickly and follow a coin trail which will lead them to a safe spot, but I need to find a way to manipulate the player into actually acting that way, or provide them with a sense of security in addition to the coin trails.
I've finished the level, you can download it down here:
Download!!!

I've also updated the screenshots in the first post because the old ones are literall gone from 1.0 of the level (since I spontaneously decided to rebuild it from scratch).

Feedback appreciated! Have fun playing!
[first off, I liked the level. I had a lot of fun, and its probably my favorite looking level. These thoughts are overly negative and critical because i dont think it's entirely beneficial to focus on the strengths, since that's not something you'd need to improve.]

- the fg/bg pillars were cool, but a little disorienting when jumping through them. I think because they're connected to the same fg that mario's on, it adds 3 layers of depth on the same plane. For the rest of the level, I'm assuming that all brightly colored objects will be in front of Mario, when most of them aren't. Similarly, I'll assume that all darker colored objects will be passable behind mario, and again, they aren't (only this assumption killed me while looking for secrets).
- That thwimp obstacle is great, but the way its laid out it looks like you're supposed to spin jump off the thwimp over the spikes. Since it immediately slid off (I wasn't expecting it to slide, since the sparkles stopped the thwomp in its tracks I thought the thwimps would just stop on them) I tanked the hit.
- Might be worth looking at changing the piranha plant's palette
- That 1-up koopa bounce was cool
- I thought that the bottom path at the saws was the bonus path so i went down there and almost missed out on the yoshi coin (fortunately you can backtrack to get up there)
- Try to avoid putting mushroom boxes in front of Layer 2 when you can interact with layer 2. It causes the mushrooms to be invisible
- The platforms that causes the layer 2 to fall are cool
- If you miss the dry bones i guess you just dont get a midpoint? Doesn't seem like the kind of thing you punish a player for this drastically. *you can scroll the screen to respawn him, but even that seems ridiculous.
- those three piranha plants at the start of the autoscroller pose literally no thread whatsoever. they're at the top of the screen and stay there for the duration of their time on screen.
- At the end of that autoscrolling section, I'm assuming you're supposed to jump off that bowling ball to get a secret. But you can't really do that because it's too far away! I tried maintaining running speed for the entire section so i could reach it but lost it at the very end (the door platform didnt have enough space on it to regain my momentum)
-add a reset door at the start of the bowling ball ride. it wasn't immediately obvious i was supposed to ride it (unless im just an idiot lol)
- was that
4-up
area your moon? because I gotta say, expecting the player to ride a fish for that long for that is absolutely not worth the trouble for how long it is and how hard it is to nail the timing down on jumping on a single fish (maybe two together would be better, since you have more than 1 tile moving at an irregular pattern to jump off of)
- Please move the ceiling up on that last goal sphere jump. If you're big mario it's not even a jump you can comfortably make most of the time.

A big problem I had throughout was that in most areas (basically the entire second half) you expect the player to immediately start moving and immediately register everything they're looking at. Which is fine for a heart-pounding exciting action romp, but there are a lot of times where i just want to slow down and breathe. And yet, I never found a room where I was able to do that without being punished with death. For a level as long as this one, I dont think it's unreasonable to ask you to add some breathing room for the player.
I think you could also benefit from picking 1 jumping style and sticking with it: normal jumping or spin-jumping. Countless times I would die because I would spin-jump when i needed to regular jump, or vice versa. You'll go through an entire room or two only spin-jumping, with regular jumping killing you, and then suddenly throw a green koopa at the player and I die because I was still in the mindset of only spin-jumping over obstacles. It's really confusing to keep track of which you want me to do in any given situation, especially because I feel a lot of pressure to keep moving as fast as I can because of these rooms where if you stop you die.
Lastly, it's too long. I typed that before I learned that skull raft bowling ball section was the last section. It's not too long, there's just no clear sense of progression. Every room looks exactly the same way, every room plays exactly the same, and no one room is harder than any other room. It's just a collection of ideas strung together through doors. I think you need to find a way to give a player a better sense of actual progression. I get the outside > inside bridge, but after that there's nothing to tell you that you're any closer than you just were to reaching the end (one of the detriments of the "many small rooms chained together" design structure). I'm not saying you should cut any of the rooms, but I will say that if you did, I could only see it improving the flow and general pace of the level.
most okayest
Thanks for your feedback! I'll just number my replies based on the respective keynote because I'm too lazy to organise this many quotes haha.

1) I see what you mean... I might get rid of the foreground pillars after the first screens because aside from aesthetic they don't really serve a purpose.
2) Combined with your concerns about jumps later on... I thought about having a "JUMP" coin colour and a "SPINJUMP" coin colour to replace the current "HEY JUMP ON THIS ENEMY" red coins. What do you think?
3) Why?
6) Noted.
8) That area was built with the idea of being able to respawn him in mind. Yeah it's kinda silly, but I kinda like it for its silliness. Maybe I'll do something.
10) No. That bowling ball is from the subsequent riding section. I'll probably move that riding section a few screens right and add the reset door.
12) Nope. I have a moon in this level. I added that section as another secret because I figured players would attempt to ride the fish bones to the start of the room and would otherwise be disappointed by finding nothing but emptiness.
13) Ending portion will see some changes. Noted this one.

I tried laying out the challenges in a somewhat scaling difficulty, but I can see where you're coming from. I'll probably juggle them around a bit, see how I can improve the difficulty, and add a proper ending section that actually feels like a proper conclusion.

Again, thanks for the feedback, and glad you had fun with the level!
Originally posted by Enjl
3) Why?
¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Originally posted by Enjl
2) Combined with your concerns about jumps later on... I thought about having a "JUMP" coin colour and a "SPINJUMP" coin colour to replace the current "HEY JUMP ON THIS ENEMY" red coins. What do you think?
hmmmm, i'm not sure that's a visual association I would make, maybe if it was given a short introduction to the concept at the start (colour A section > colour B section > colour A and B section) it could work. I think it'd be worth a try.
most okayest
Alright, update time! I don't think I'll need to update this again, because I'm pretty satisfied with how it is right now. Thanks FrozenQuills, Hobz and SnoruntPyro on your feedback on the previous version. I've taken all of it into account and tried my best to improve the level based on what you guys said (and judging from pyro's feedback on 1.1 I did a pretty good job on it apparently). <3

Changelog because I love writing changelogs:
-Status Bar is fixed
-Room order shuffled to give the level a better flow
-Last room mostly redesigned and lengthened into a proper finale
-Changed the meaning of coins
-Various changes and tweaks to most setups to make them fairer, more meaningful or more in-line with what's going on in the level
-Second-to-last section scrapped
-Added reset doors where appropriate
-Added a room between the first and 2nd room to introduce Layer 2 and reset doors
-Less "pressuring the player into acting quickly"
-Removed bowser statues from the enemy roster
-Preparing artillery for negative reactions towards glitched note block sprites


Have fun!
Pages: « 1 »
Forum Index - Sunken Ghost Ship - Old Contests & Events - The 10th Annual Vanilla Level Design Contest - [1.1] Swiss Sparkles Inc.

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